Olympic 800m champion can ‘compete without restriction’ while appeal is pending, says legal team

Caster Semenya can return to race “without restriction” while her appeal against the IAAF’s new regulations on female classification is pending, the two-time Olympic 800m champion’s legal team has said.

According to a statement released on Monday, the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has “ordered the IAAF to immediately suspend the implementation of the eligibility regulations against Caster Semenya”.

Semenya was quoted as saying: “I am thankful to the Swiss judges for this decision.

“I hope that following my appeal I will once again be able to run free.”

Semenya recently lost her landmark case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the IAAF’s new rules, which relate to restricting testosterone levels in female runners in certain events.

The ‘IAAF Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athletes with Differences of Sex Development (DSD))’ had originally been due to come into effect on November 1, 2018, but were suspended. Following the CAS ruling, the regulations started on May 8.

Under the new rules Semenya – and other female athletes with DSD – would need to reduce their natural testosterone level in order to take part in certain women’s events in international competition.

The rules for athletes who have DSD apply to the 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 1500m, one mile races and combined events over the same distances.

Swiss counsel for Semenya, Dr Dorothee Schramm of Sidley Austin LLP, said: “The Swiss Supreme Court has granted welcome temporary protection to Caster Semenya.

“This is an important case that will have fundamental implications for the human rights of female athletes.”

According to the statement, the Swiss court will issue another ruling on the continued suspension of the IAAF regulations after receiving submissions from the sport’s global governing body.

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